Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Creepy Crawlers

I am starting a new series of digital bug paintings. This is a personal project and I am having fun playing with these colorful creepy crawlers. I hope to create a strong group of around 6 - 9 bug art images that I will be offering on-line in our Cafe Press gift shop. I have started today with a fellow I call Bernie the Beetle. You can buy a print of Bernie by clicking here. I'm not sure this will be everyone's cup of tea, but that's ok. I find that the work I do to please myself always helps me grow in my commercial work. I have always loved insects and I especially love dusty old books with hand tinted engravings of insects and flowers. I will be using both old engravings and photographs in these new pieces.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Portraits

Today I finished a fun and bright portrait of a Great Dane named Olivia and a sweet little pup by the name of Lady.

These two girls were fun to work on. The dog days of summer are upon us and all I want to do is stay inside and work on commissions.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Fala Day Pics

As promised a few pics from Fala day last Saturday. My favorite of course is the first image of Big Tommy with his blue ribbon and acrylic trophy. As you can see in the pic his Da was very proud, and just like the proud parent of a two legged child Dan has the trophy on the mantel at home.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tilly and Veronica Lake

Today I worked on Tilly. Miss Tilly has a Veronica Lake look going for her with only one eye showing beneath her long flowing locks.

Tilly's original snapshot was pretty good in that we could get a real sense of personality and character. It lacked a tad bit in detail and so I just painted in an abundance of texture and line. Tilly's human also was able to show us a variety of snaps taken inside and so we were able to get a real sense of her modern style and aesthetic sensibilities ( Tilly lounges on very cool furniture).

My next step is to play around with color and come up with some different color background options to show Tilly's human. Her proof should be on-line in just a couple of days.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Fala Day

We had a blast on Sunday at Fala Day. I will be posting some fun pics of this annual Scottie event soon.
Big Tommy won first place for tallest ears, we are very proud. Fala Day is put on by the terrific folks at North Texas Scottish Terrier Rescue. In true rescue spirit they have contests celebrating the quirks and imperfections that make our pets so dear to us. Other contest categories included longest tail, widest girth, shortest ears, longest beard, and of course best costume.

Both our sweet Ajax and Big Tommy are rescue boys from NTSR.

Friday, May 19, 2006

1,609 Served

In early 2001 Art Paw was one of the first on-line pet portrait studios to start offering on-line web proofing to their clients. We started our business in 1998 and for our first three years in business we proofed all of our clients via e-mail only. Just for grins today I did a quick search on my hardrive for html (web) pages with the word "proof" in them and found 1,609 page results. Zowie, dividing that number by 5 (years) I discovered that we are averaging around 321 portraits a year. The actual number could be a tad bit higher as we often return to e-mail proofing during the busy holidays.

One of these days I want to make myself a huge mural using small square thumbnails of all of the animals we have created portraits for. I think that a huge print of that size with that many animals would look lovely above my desk. I can just imagine sitting back with my assistant and trying to name all the different dogs and cats that would be represented in a giant mural like this. The conversation would be "no that is not Bella, that dog over there is Bella ... ok maybe that is Bella the terrier and that is Bella the poodle". I really do remember 98% of the animals names that we have created art for, and the only ones that are a little fuzzy in my brain are the very quick rush jobs.

It might be even better to make the mural out of ceramic tiles. That would be an expensive project, over 1600 ceramic tiles! Now if I can just find the time to create this tapestry of pets.

Web proofing is one of the perks when working with digital artists. We have the ability to show our clients a couple of different versions of their art before we print it. We can even make minor color changes to the work and reproof on request. Click here to view a few of our most recent client proofs. Some traditional portrait artists are even getting in on the proofing game and allowing their clients to see their art as it progresses. Check out Kathy Weller's blog to find a few of her pieces in progress.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dog Wraps

This week I worked on 2 pups that were sporting lovely wraps. When photographing your dog take advantage of after bath towels, bedding and other groovy "wraps" to add texture and interest to your canine photography. After playing with Keyla and Lola I dug through my photos of Pixel that I shot in Feb. to find one where I had wrapped her up in my knit scarf. I played around this morning with her photo to add her to today's post on dog wraps.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

5 down ... 9 to go

Well, I proofed 5 clients this week and I am so close to being caught up I can taste it. I am working on a good looking horse this evening, and I have one very large order that I have to start on soon for a patient local metroplex client.

Today I proofed Moses the tabby. Moses has a terrific in your face sort of glance. Cats are so much fun to work on. When a dog stares too directly at the camera it can sort of freak you out a little and make them look mean or threatening so I usually will rotate their heads in my art to sweeten up their demeanor. Cats on the other hand, well you sort of have to love their attitude and just go with it. This kitty looks sweet yet he is expecting something from the viewer ... a treat, a toy, I dunno?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mr. Knuckle

Knuckle was a very fun project I worked on last week. The original photo was not bad at all. My only real challenge with the original snapshot was that one ear was not showing at all. I fixed that by duplicating the existing ear then flipped it, then I reduced it's size slightly, and warped it just a tiny bit to make it look different from the other ear. I also lifted and widened the eyes just a tad bit to sweeten Mr. Knuckle's expression a bit. This guy looks like a no-nonsense sort of chap and I really like this piece.